Interview: Robin Thede on Comedy and Season 3 of the Emmy-Nominated ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’

For the third year in a row, HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show is up for the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, and for the second time, it’s one of just two nominees, competing against Saturday Night Live. But don’t blame the lack of nominated contenders on creator and star Robin Thede – she’s just happy they made it to the final two.

Awards Radar had the chance to speak with Thede about bringing the show back for a third season and her general approach to comedy, as well as her very positive working relationship with HBO. Discussing the wealth of talent among the guest stars and how they get selected, Thede explained:

“It just depends on what the sketch is, honestly. Our sketches come first. Even as the core cast, we audition for roles once they’re written. The scripts come first, and that is the opposite of how every other sketch show does it. Narratives and characters that are three-dimensional first, and we have such a versatile cast that they can literally play anything.”

On whether it’s harder to write comedy because the real world is absurd, Thede had a definitive response:

“I don’t agree. I think it’s harder to be offensive and get a laugh. But I always feel like, if your jokes are funny, it doesn’t matter if they’re offensive. If they’re well-written, people are going to laugh. I also think the world is not as sensitive as the Internet likes to make us think. Because I’m still in comedy clubs, and I’m still seeing the acts that people are doing, and there’s people out here still doing some very offensive and raunchy things that are getting huge laughs. And I think there’s room in comedy for all of it.”

Watch the full conversation below!

The first three seasons of A Black Lady Sketch Show are available to stream on HBO Max. 


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Written by Abe Friedtanzer

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